NEWS ANALYSIS - Africa, Covid-19 has not stopped wars

Saturday, 4 July 2020 wars   pope francis   un   episcopal conferences   peace   cease-fire  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - When, in the last week of March, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres first, and then Pope Francis, just when the pandemic was taking on frightening dimensions, launched a heartfelt appeal to proclaim a universal cease-fire, the world seemed to listen to them. In Syria, Cameroon, the Philippines, Yemen, Congo, for example, signs of détente emerged and, thanks also to the terror of contracting the virus, some armies or militias of the 70 wars that inflame the planet silenced their weapons. Those encouraging signs had no result. The Pope's invitation to take the dramatic opportunity to "suspend all forms of war hostility" and encourage openness "to diplomacy, attention to those in situations of vulnerability" remained in many regions of the world a "dead letter". Since mid-April, in most of the places that had at least partially ceased the fighting, shooting started again, in all the others, in reality, it never stopped.
More than three months later, the messages of the Pope and Guterres can be said to have gone unheeded. Agenzia Fides spoke with representatives of the Catholic Church of three Countries (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and Cameroon) in which the conflict has raged for years and tried to understand what the situation is and the reasons behind a refusal to suspend - at least temporarily - the war. (...) - continues


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